Posted by: Techtalk | May 6, 2009

Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 Is Not Applicable In India Till Now

Cyber Law in India is taken care of by the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) that has been recently amended. However, till the date of writing of this article, the amendments have not yet been notified. Even if those amendments are notified they are not carrying much improvement and strength for the IT Act, 2000. At a time when India is facing increased cyber crimes, cyber terrorism, cyber war, hacking attacks, cyber security vulnerabilities, etc the Amendments are retrograde step in the “wrong direction”. Malware are posing significant threat to India yet there is no attention towards cyber security in India and strong cyber laws.

The Department of Information Technology (DIT) has prepared the draft rules under IT (Amendment) Act, 2008. However, the bigger question is what is the “Legal Significance” of such draft rules in the absence of “Notification” of the IT Amendment Act 2008 and “Publication” of drafted Rules in the Official Gazette? The DIT is “erroneously claiming” that the Amendments have been notified. There is no information whatsoever about the claimed notification at the site of DIT. The readers can themselves analyse that there are many notification regarding Information Technology Act, 2000 yet none about the Amendments. Is the DIT ignorant about the basic procedure as to how laws are made applicable in India?

To clarify the position, I have contacted Dr. Gulshan Rai of DIT in this regard. I have sent the following mail to him in this regard:

“Dear Sir

I have tried a lot but could not find any information about the date of “Notification” of IT Amendment Act 2008 as per the requirements of Section 1(2) of the same. Till that notification is made, the Amendments would not come in to force. I request you to kindly put the “date of notification” of the same at your site. Further, a “clarification” in this regard at your site would be a good idea.

As we all can see that the Department has come up with the rules that it has made for the IT Amendment Act 2008. However, even these rules have to be “Published” in the gazette before they are applicable. There seems to be no “Date of Publication” in the rules posted at your site. Further, a “Public Review” of these rules also suggests that they are “Not Final” yet.

I request you to kindly clarify the matter at your site as soon as possible so that some constructive development in the field of cyber law of India can be made”.

Though his reply is awaited yet one thing is for sure. In the absence of notification of Amendments and publication of the Rules the Information Technology Act, 2000 remains “Unamended”. The IT Act 2000 would still govern the legal rights and liabilities unless the new Act and Rules are made applicable. I hope Dr. Gulshan Rai would clarify the situation as soon as possible otherwise faulty reports and inappropriate police actions would keep on harassing citizens of India

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Responses

  1. [...] The self contradictory shades of Indian ICT skills and expertise is really amusing. While Indian citizens are famous for their expertise and professional skills yet Indian Government and bureaucrats are infamous for their ignorance. The latest example being the proposed Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 (Act 2008). Initially the lack of knowledge and insight was attributable to a self-claimed cyber law observer named Na Vijayshanker (Naavi) who claimed that the proposed Act has been “notified”. While Naavi being a non-lawyer with no knowledge about law at all and limited knowledge about cyber law and techno-legal issues yet Indian bureaucrats like Dr. Gulshan Rai must not show ignorance about the law making process and its coming into force. Even a query to clarify the issue remained unanswered.[1] [...]

  2. [...] the “controversial and unconstitutional” Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 has “not been notified” till now. The moment Act 2008 is notified India would rank among the top five as there are [...]


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